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Debt, Inflation and Growth - Robust Estimation of Long-Run Effects in Dynamic Panel Data Models

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  • Alexander Chudik
  • Kamiar Mohaddes
  • M. Hashem Pesaran
  • Mehdi Raissi

Abstract

This paper investigates the long-run effects of public debt and inflation on economic growth. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirical. On the theoretical side, we develop a cross-sectionally augmented distributed lag (CS-DL) approach to the estimation of long-run effects in dynamic heterogeneous panel data models with cross-sectionally dependent errors. The relative merits of the CS-DL approach and other existing approaches in the literature are discussed and illustrated with small sample evidence obtained by means of Monte Carlo simulations. On the empirical side, using data on a sample of 40 countries over the 1965-2010 period, we find significant negative long-run effects of public debt and inflation on growth. Our results indicate that, if the debt to GDP ratio is raised and this increase turns out to be permanent, then it will have negative effects on economic growth in the long run. But if the increase is temporary, then there are no long-run growth effects so long as debt to GDP is brought back to its normal level. We do not find a universally applicable threshold effect in the relationship between public debt and growth. We only find statistically significant threshold effects in the case of countries with rising debt to GDP ratios.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-12/cesifo1_wp4508.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4508.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4508

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Keywords: long-run relationships; estimation and inference; large dynamic heterogeneous panels; cross-section dependence; debt; inflation and growth; debt overhang;

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  1. Gillman, Max & Nakov, Anton, 2005. "Granger Causality of the Inflation-Growth Mirror in Accession Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 4845, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
  3. Gylfason, Thorvaldur & Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor, 1996. "Does Inflation Matter for Growth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Kimbrough, Kent P., 1986. "The optimum quantity of money rule in the theory of public finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 277-284, November.
  5. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Rother, Philipp, 2012. "The impact of high government debt on economic growth and its channels: An empirical investigation for the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1392-1405.
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  7. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak, 2005. "Contrasting Models of the Effect of Inflation on Growth," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 113-136, 02.
  8. John H. Cochrane, 2010. "Understanding Policy in the Great Recession: Some Unpleasant Fiscal Arithmetic," NBER Working Papers 16087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2006. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 967-1012, 07.
  10. Markus Eberhardt & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "This Time They’re Different: Heterogeneity and Nonlinearity in the Relationship between Debt and Growth," Discussion Papers 2013/10, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  11. Ugo Panizza & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "Public Debt and Economic Growth in Advanced Economies: A Survey," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(II), pages 175-204, June.
  12. Ireland, Peter N, 1994. "Money and Growth: An Alternative Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 47-65, March.
  13. López-Villavicencio, Antonia & Mignon, Valérie, 2011. "On the impact of inflation on output growth: Does the level of inflation matter?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 455-464, September.
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  15. Pesaran, M.H., 2004. "‘General Diagnostic Tests for Cross Section Dependence in Panels’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0435, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  16. Sarafidis, Vasilis & Wansbeek, Tom, 2010. "Cross-sectional Dependence in Panel Data Analysis," MPRA Paper 20367, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2010. "Public Debt and Growth," IMF Working Papers 10/174, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Atish R. Ghosh & Jun I. Kim & Enrique G. Mendoza & Jonathan D. Ostry & Mahvash S. Qureshi, 2011. "Fiscal Fatigue, Fiscal Space and Debt Sustainability in Advanced Economies," NBER Working Papers 16782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Krugman, Paul, 1988. "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 253-268, November.
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  21. Saving, Thomas R, 1971. "Transactions Costs and the Demand for Money," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 407-20, June.
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